Nine years ago today I became a Mama.
I had read all the books, bought all the gadgets that were supposed to make child-rearing easier, gotten advice from women around me, decorated the nursery, and had done what I could to get ready. But NOTHING could have prepared me for the adventure that was to come.
When Our sweet girl arrived on the scene, life as we knew it before ceased to exist.
Our days were filled with middle-of-the-night feedings, diaper changes, acid reflux medicines, temper-tantrums (from the baby and from me), nursing and bottles, morning walks with the stroller, snuggles before bed, and adhering to the schedule we thought would make parenting a
fussy challenging baby easier.
We were consumed with doing it all “right” and with following all the guidelines we had researched from the so-called “experts”.
And y’all, if I’m being honest here, there were days I didn’t think we would survive it.
She cried all day. Every day. Even feeding her was a battle.
I can remember multiple times sitting with friends or family over coffee or desert and literally crying saying how I just didn’t think I could do it and how something must be wrong with me.
I struggled with postpartum depression and anxiety, with the loss of my former identity, and with being home all day with a baby that didn’t seem to like me.
As she grew, I would take her to baby massage class, toddler storytime, and playgroups with other moms. Almost every time while the others kids were laughing or playing or sitting quietly and listening, she would cry. She would throw a tantrum in the floor or completely disrupt the group activity. I thought that we would never survive the whirlwind of raising this little firecracker.
Looking back now, I can see how irrational fears, impossible expectations, and some serious hormonal imbalances were all working against me.
The enemy tried to convince me that something was wrong with me as a Mom, with her as my daughter, and that it would never get better.
He sustained us.
He carried us through moment by moment. He slowly and gently began revealing areas on my heart and life that needed to be surrendered to Him. Places where I had allowed selfishness and pride to rule and reign on the throne of my heart.
He taught me how to love the child that He had specifically designed for me and not to try to use someone else’s method or plans.
That same kid who was so strong willed that I couldn’t take out in public without an incident is now one of the kindest, most obedient, delightful, full of life kids that I know.
She is literally MY JOY most days.
I look at her now and see no trace of the battle that used to rage inside of her heart and mind. Probably, because He changed the lens through which I was viewing her. And I also know that the Lord has changed her heart, too.
I know some will see this post and be shocked and offended that I would post that I struggled with being a mom. (Please don’t misunderstand me- I am GRATEFUL with every single fiber of my being to be a Mom.)
But I also know that someone out there reading this right now, might breathe a little easier, take a big sigh of relief and know this: YOU AREN’T THE ONLY ONE.
Hear me, weary sister: IT GETS BETTER.
Those battles you’re fighting right now, this very second when it’s your will vs. theirs: THEY ARE WORTH IT.
Those prayers you’re praying on your knees in desperation crying out for deliverance and wisdom: THEY ARE HEARD.
Those days when you don’t think you have what it takes and that you can’t keep going: THEY WILL PASS.
And those struggles you’re facing that make you question everything about yourself and your ability: THEY ARE SHAPING YOUR HEART TO LOOK MORE LIKE THE FATHER’S.
It will get better. IT WILL.
Right now, set your gaze on the race the Lord has given YOU to run. Not on the one that your friend is running to your left, and for heaven’s sake, not the one that the lady to your right is running who keeps giving you advice on how to make your kid act differently.
You were given this child to raise. FOR A PURPOSE. It wasn’t a mistake. On your own you may not have enough wisdom, enough strength, enough patience, enough endurance, but CHRIST DOES. Let Him teach you. Moment by moment, day by day.
You aren’t alone, and right now, I’m praying for you and CHEERING YOU ON!